The Role of Pediatric Nurse in Today’s Society
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In today’s healthcare system, nurses play an important role in the delivery of care. They are seen in various places such as hospitals, facilities, schools, homes, clinics and offices. Nurses educate patients and families disease prevention and encourage wellness. They are equipped with knowledge and expert skills of caring which they provide during illnesses and at the end of life. Nurses are vital partners to all healthcare team of professionals. They combine science of nursing with the art of providing empathetic and supportive care.
Foster Care Nurse
In the past years, the nursing profession has changed dramatically and continues to evolve. In a study conducted by Schneiderman (2006), a groundbreaking nursing role was recognized on the pediatric public health nurse (also called foster care nurse) in the promotion of safety and improvement of health outcomes of children in foster care. The development of the new nursing role is to heed the call for a need to address the increasing number of children in foster care with serious health problems. This new nursing role does not only provide opportunity to advocate for the children in foster care but also gives a chance for health case management to act together with the legal, political, and organizational aspect of foster care (Schneiderman, 2006)
In this kind of set-up, the pediatric public health nurses work hand-in-hand with the social workers in child welfare agencies in dealing with foster care children with extensive health problems. Legal concerns are managed by the social worker and the pediatric public health nurse on the other hand offers health teaching and counseling to guarantee that part of a safe environment is the foster care child’s good health (Schneiderman, 2006).
Roles of Foster Care Nurse
Schneiderman (2006), delineated the four goals of the foster care nursing program: 1) identification and quick action on the health needs of children in protective custody, 2) development and documentation of a comprehensive health plan, 3) availability of a pool of qualified providers to provide needed care in a timely manner, and 4) a health record of the child with information necessary to determine health needs and status during the child’s time in foster care (Schneiderman, 2006).
In a different qualitative study conducted by Jackson (2005), an insight on the meaning of being recently qualified children’s nurse was explored. In addition, factors that would either facilitate or inhibit the shift from student to registered nurse were identified. In the author’s paper, transition or the shift from a student to becoming a registered nurse is a both difficult and dynamic.
Three themes were extracted from the study: 1) self-image and changing status, 2) support and expectations, and 3) doing the job. These inter-related themes is further explained by the author that as an individual assume the role of a registered nurse, it will lead to an understanding of the nature of children’s nursing that will eventually result to support and expectations of others to facilitate the job to be done.
Why Pediatric Nursing?
One of the reasons for choosing pediatric nursing of some is due to the fact that it means dealing with children and families as well. Working closely with children and families puts them in the position to advocate for them, and such is a positive experience for the nurses (Jackson, 2005).
Jackson (2005) emphasized that “achievement of the staff nurse role is a process comprising both visible and less tangible elements.” Skill development takes time. Newly qualified pediatric nurses have lower level of standard of care, but are acceptable and safe. Factors such as anxiety linked with the new assumed role and need to establish reliability among families and colleagues (Jackson, 2005).
In summary, nursing is a specialized area of practice that wide and varied. It is a career that touches the lives of others and makes a difference. It is challenging, exciting and is likely to evolve in the coming times.
But with the role of being a pediatric nurse, comes a professional obligation to expand knowledge to empower patients and their families. It is the right of every patient to be cared of by competent nurses. It is therefore expected for graduates of nursing who will be rendering services to individuals, families and communities to be able to assimilate knowledge and experience for a safe, effective and quality care to pediatric patients. In addition, they should engage in counseling and health teaching that reflects professional standards.
Being able to work closely with children and their families is one reason why many enter the pediatric nursing profession. Nurses consider patients and families as important members of the team by being informed and involved in their treatment and care.
In general, nurses are in constant attendance with patients whereas other members of the team only come in contact with the patient for a very limited time, usually for consultations and therapy sessions. They are the ones supporting and reinforcing the care employed by others (e,g therapy staff).
Nurses give patients both direct and indirect care in the hope that it will prevent further harm, to maintain and strengthen if possible present ability in adapting or altering ti lifestyle changes, and restore lost abilities. For this reason, they are in the best position to advocate on behalf of the patient’s needs and rights. A good nurse, besides being equipped with critical-thinking skills and knowledge, should also be a compassionate nurse. A simple touch and an ear to listen to patient’s woes can make a big difference in his/her ability to recuperate and make progress.
Jackson, K. (2005). The roles and responsibilities of newly qualified children’s nurses. Paediatr Nurs, 17(6), 26-30.
Schneiderman, J. U. (2006). Innovative pediatric nursing role: public health nurses in child welfare. Pediatr Nurs, 32(4), 317-321.